Five Schools Created Under Reorganization
SUNY Oneonta President Nancy Kleniewski reviewed recent accomplishments and shared priorities for the new academic year with college faculty and staff during the college’s annual Opening Breakfast on Friday, Aug. 30.
During her address to the campus community, Dr. Kleniewski officially announced an ambitious, strategically critical plan to advance teaching, learning and scholarship at SUNY Oneonta by restructuring the college’s division of Academic Affairs and introduced three founding deans and two interim deans for the college’s five new schools.
In spring 2012, Provost Maria Thompson announced a proposal to shift from three academic divisions—liberal arts and sciences, education, and business and economics—to a five-school structure comprising a School of Business and Economics, a School of Arts and Humanities, a School of Social Science, a School of Natural and Mathematical Sciences, and a School of Education and Human Ecology.
The five-school plan was developed based on the recommendations of a consultant hired by the college to assess its divisional structure, the findings of the college’s Organizational Structure Task Force report, and broad-based input from faculty members across academic disciplines. Searches for the five deans were launched in November 2012, and three founding deans joined the college this summer.
Dr. Venkat Sharma joined the college on July 8 as the founding dean of the School of Natural and Mathematical Sciences. Sharma recently served as dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at the University of West Alabama in Livingston, Ala. As chief academic and administrative officer of the college, he was responsible for 15 undergraduate programs. He also oversaw several facilities, among them UWA’s greenhouses, nature trails, wildflower gardens, museum and herbarium collections, and the West Alabama Environmental Services Center. Sharma earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry/microbiology from the Cancer Institute at the University of Madras, in Madras, India.
Dr. Susan Turell joined the college Aug. 5 as the founding dean of the School of Social Science. Turell came to SUNY Oneonta from Clarion University of Pennsylvania, where she served as associate provost, overseeing the Center for Academic Achievement, which includes the advising, disability student services and orientation programs. She also served as the university’s grants officer and was responsible for tutoring, the Honors Program and the Center for Research and Intellectual Property Development. Turell earned a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from the University of Houston in 1992.
Dr. David Yen joined the college on July 1 as the founding dean of the School of Business and Economics. Yen came to SUNY Oneonta from the Farmer School of Business at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where he was the Raymond E. Glos Professor in Business, director of the China Business Program and a distinguished scholar of the graduate faculty. Yen earned a Ph.D. in management information systems from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 1985, and also holds master’s degrees in computer science and business administration.
Searches for founding deans for the remaining two schools are still under way. In the meantime, Dr. Richard Lee, associate professor of English and immediate past University Faculty Senator, will serve as interim dean of the School of Education and Human Ecology, and Dr. Wade Thomas, professor of economics and former associate dean of the Division of Economics and Business, will serve as interim dean of the School of Arts and Humanities.
The five schools will be founded at a Celebration of Schools on Friday, Sept. 6, in the Morris Conference Center.